Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

NAFTA'S CHILDREN


ONE YEAR IN THE SLAMMER



After carrying out a peaceful protests at the Hancock air field in Syracuse, New York where U.S. drones are piloted remotely, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to a year in prison.

Mary Anne had been issued an order of protection aimed at keeping her away from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base after she participated in an act of civil disobedience there in 2012. Last year, Grady Flores says she attended another peace action, but did not participate, instead photographing it from the roadway, beyond what she believed was the base's boundary. She was later told the base's property extended into the road. On Thursday, Judge David Gideon of the DeWitt Town Court sentenced her to the maximum sentence of a year in prison for violating the protection order and fined her $1,000. In a courtroom packed with about 150 supporters, Grady Flores spoke about what she called the four perversions of justice in her case.

Mary Anne began her sentencing statement with, “Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before you tonight.” She concluded that the “final perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here: the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of U.S. drone attacks?”

Is the First Amendment dead?  Looks to be that way.

Friday, July 11, 2014

RUSSELL BRAND ON FOX NEWS & ISIS



Let's not forget that the US and NATO have been funding, directing, and training ISIS in Jordan in recent years.  ISIS was being used to take down Syria and were of no concern until they turned on Iraq.  Blow back it is called.

WORKER OWNED COOPS



As Americans are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the profit-driven motives of big business, a documentary airing on PBS this month endeavors to bring to light the worker-owned cooperative model that has begun to take hold in many sectors throughout North America.

Shift Change, by filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin, tells the "little known" stories behind some of the most successful worker-owned businesses in North America and Spain.

UKIE FASCISTS WANT MORE AID FROM U.S.



Canadian activist Roger Annis shares:


The internet is flooded with videos of the killings and rampages by [Kiev's] fascist militias in eastern Ukraine. The fascists like to boast about their murders and rampages. Here is one video of a battalion of the neo-Nazi Right Sector near the village of Karlovka, southeast Ukraine on July 6. Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh addresses his ‘troops’ shortly after they had engaged in a skirmish with self defense fighters. Below is the translated text of his remarks. Note the close ties with the Ukraine army and U.S. advisors that Yarosh acknowledges in his remarks:

Video Translation

Yarosh: Everybody, attention! We worked well today. Certainly we’d like something more. But with our forces as they are, we actually couldn’t reach better results. We expected that when we entered into fighting the armoured vehicles would come to help us. We expected reinforcement to come but it didn’t happen. We expected that artillery would totally smash those checkpoints – and it has been shelling them for 1.5 hours – but it didn’t smash them.

Still, we performed our duty well. Let’s call it an offensive reconnaissance. And we worked well together with our guys from the Donbass Battalion and military units.

Unfortunately, we have one injured, but he will live – the bullet went right through him. I’m very happy to see all of you alive – that’s the important thing for me. We’ll have many other battles of this kind. So, as we return to base, we should analyze our mistakes because there were some. Lessons should be drawn by all our units, and by our friend ‘Wolf’ [one of the commanders].

We should train more – then there will less of our blood spilled and more of the enemy’s.

About weapons and armament – we should work on this issue, too. I’ll go to the U.S. and I hope that our recent battle convinces them. I’ll ask them to provide us, at last, with other respective ‘arguments’ – more arms and ammunition. And now – following the order of our friend Wolf – to the cars and to base. Any questions or brilliant ideas?

A voice of one of the paramilitaries: Maybe we should check with army regulars and stay with them here a little longer?

Yarosh: If there’s a need, then, of course, we’ll provide them with our people.

NATURE TO DESTROY JEJU NAVAL BASE



Regis Tremblay writes:

This is a beautifully done short film showing the recent storm that just brushed Jeju, but did great damage to the caissons that will be the docks for the base. From Korean Director, Cho, Sung Bong.

This open water naval base being constructed on Jeju Island, South Korea to port US warships is a contradiction in nature.  When big typhoons come to this area they will continually over power the man-made breakwater walls being built with cement.  The Samsung construction corporation that has the contract to build the base will have to keep repairing the breakwater after each storm costing huge amounts of money.  At some point the decision will be made to halt this expensive and environmentally destructive project.  Nature will win this one.

THE OTHER BLITZKRIEG



I read yesterday that the US-NATO puppets in Kiev were moving heavy artillery and tanks near their border with Crimea.  The Kiev thugs have been told to start a war with Russia by drawing them into eastern Ukraine.  Russia would only take such a step to protect the people who have called for regional autonomy and are now being daily attacked by Kiev's neo-fascist led army.  But so far Russia has not taken the bait.

The puppet masters back in Washington, London and at NATO HQ in Brussels are likely pounding the table in furry.  They have to force Kiev to be even more provocative in order to get the Russian bear to react.  So the order has gone out.

Yesterday I saw two reports that said Kiev was shelling Russian customs outposts along the border with Ukraine.  Then I saw the one referenced above where Kiev is moving their war machine toward Crimea.  In recent weeks NATO's stooges in Kiev have repeatedly threatened to take back Crimea by force.  Now that would for sure get Putin's attention and war would be on.

Ukraine does not have enough military equipment for their current operation against their own citizens in the eastern part of the country (Donbass).  The latest reports were that Poland and other NATO countries in that region are shipping their old Russian heavy military equipment to Kiev.  They don't need it anyhow because part of joining NATO means your military has to become "interoperable" with the US which runs everything through Pentagon space satellites.  So Poland and all the other NATO members are having to cut social spending so they can buy 'new stuff' from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and the rest of the bunch.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

LET'S GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT




FEEDING CARS & CATTLE



In 1990 while working for the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice we sued NASA and the federal government trying to stop the launch of the space probe Ulysses with deadly plutonium-238 onboard. 

The man in this video, Andrew Kimbrell, was our lawyer in that case.  We lost and the rocket was successfully launched but the court action brought tremendous global media coverage to our campaign to stop nuclear power in space.

WEEK OF GLOBAL ACTIONS



This short video was made by Dave Webb in Leeds, England.  He does the web site for the Global Network and is our board convener.  He also chairs CND in Great Britain.

This year Keep Space for Peace week begins with a global day of actions against drones on October 4.  It should be a great week of local events all over the world.

Be sure to let us know if you organize anything in your community.

The art work on the poster at the end of the video was done by Will Park in Florida.  You can order posters at the GN web site.  See more here

TYPHON HITS JEJU


Sung-Hee Choi reports from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea:

Samsung C & T caisson, 10,000 ton per a piece, broken away even by medium typhoon

If you remember the seven destroyed caissons (a caisson is a huge concrete structure for building breakwater) by the big typhoons in 2012, you will also remember how unreliable the caisson construction has been; how wrong the base location is as the village is located on the very way of typhoon; how dumbfounding is waste of people’s tax for war base; and how the sea has been polluted by the navy who has illegally destroyed those seven without any environmental concern… Here are a few words (excerpted) by some witness who are observing another damage on caissons by a medium typhoon that hit Jeju on July 9…

‘It is the 1st typhoon since the [navy’s] caisson construction in the area of South breakwater, an area operated by the Samsung C & T.’ (By Kim Kook Nam, peace keeper, July 9)
‘Neoguri, the 1st level typhoon in Okinawa has become weaken into the 2nd level when it affected the Jeju Island. [..]’ (By Go Gwon-Il, co-vice mayor, July 9)

‘Due to the typhoon Neoguri influence, two caissons at the end of the naval base (currently built) south breakwater were completely separated. A one-story caisson at the end of south breakwater, which is barely exposed on the sea surface, is slant, as well, while the two caissons next to it become separated from the existing ones with the great gap from those and looking slant, too. It is likely to take lots of time for those to be restored..” (By Fr. Kim Sung-Hwan, July 10, 8:30am)

‘According to Koh Sung-Shik, Yonhap news reporter who inquired to the naval base project committee, the 1st caisson has been filled with about 40% inside while the 2nd with 100%[..] There seems no way except for smashing those. Steel rods in those became all crooked with the concern of getting rusty in the sea water.. (By Go Gwon-Il, co-vice mayor, in the morning of July 10)

The naval base project committee got tens of billions of damage by total destruction of seven caissons when the typhoon Denvin and Bolaben hit the Jeju in 2012. At the time, the navy said, “The naval base caisson is laid out to stand against big typhoon every 50 years.” (Jeju Sori, July 9)

Photo by Dir Cho Sung-Bong which is told to be taken around 6 pm on July 9.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

SEE HOW THEY LIE



ABC News’ Diane Sawyer misidentifies scenes of the aftermath of Israeli missile strikes in Gaza as destruction caused by Palestinian rocket fire.

Sawyer’s bald misreporting reflects either a deliberate lie by ABC News or willful ignorance so severe that Palestinian death and misery is invisible even when it’s staring ABC producers right in the face.

I posted the story on FaceBook and got this comment from Fred Morris:

Incredible, but not surprising. ABC-News has long been a platform for the State Department's agenda. This reporting is total lies.

 Back in 1984, when I was local producer for ABC-News TV in Costa Rica, we drove up to northern Costa Rica to the farm of one John Hull, later shown to be a CIA asset in CR. On the runway of his farm, we encountered a brand new Cessna 310 (twin-engined plane). The pilot was sitting in the plane. On camera he was asked what he was doing. With no reluctance, nor shame, he said he had flown down a load of weapons for Reagan's contra forces and was awaiting a load of cocaine to take back to his base in Arkansas. He said he was a contract pilot for the CIA, which owned the plane. All this on camera. 

The video was raced back to San Jose, where we sent it to New York by satellite, certain that we had a major scoop. It disappeared and was never seen again. Such a report wasn't convenient for the Reagan administration and ABC-News didn't want to jeopardize its good relations with the government. Nothing new in this.

BOYCOTT SODASTREAM


I rode my scooter to Brunswick today for a 5:00 pm protest at WalMart in support of the boycott of SodaStream carbonation devices or other products made by this company.

SodaStream manufactures these machines within an Israeli settlement in occupied Palestinian territory. These settlements are illegal under international law and are obstacles to peace.

We began in front of the doors into WalMart and after a few moments their staff told us to leave.  We just ignored them and they called the police.  It took another 20 minutes for the cops to arrive and during that time we keep a moving picket line between the two primary entrances of the store and handed out quite a few flyers to their customers.  Once the police arrived they told us we had to move to the public sidewalk out by the main road which we did.

There were just more than 20 of us out along the roadway and I stood by the lane where cars turned into WalMart.  So we had good visibility and it felt good to be doing something as Israel continues its barbaric rampage against the virtually defenseless Palestinian people.

THE GENERAL'S SON



Abby Martin interviews peace activist and author, Miko Peled on the latest violence gripping Gaza, following the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and the militarized response by Israel's defense forces.

TRANSFORM THE WAR ECONOMY



The latest edition of This Issue features Miriam Pemberton from the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC.  She was recently in Maine to speak at a public forum in Bath about conversion/diversification of the military production network across the nation.  She particularly emphasizes the need for peace groups to work with unions, church groups, environmental groups and other interested parties to push for diversification planning councils to be established at the state levels.

TAKE BACK OUR SOUL


This happened to me
growing up behind
barbed wire fences
Air Force bases
my mind was
hollowed out
and inside was poured
nationalism
and militarism

I still see the old man
in Wiesbaden
with his fingers
wrapped around the
base fence
staring right at me
as we played
American baseball
in the middle of
his city
his eyes said
go home

The Lakota
whose land was taken
to eventually build
Ellsworth AFB
I learned to love
their drums
and the smells
of sage

I too enlisted
and marched
and saluted
but found the truth
and learned outrage
inside the barracks
as GI's
helped me take back
my own mind
and soul

ETHNIC CLEANSING


Israel's massive attack on Gaza is really intended to make life impossible for the Palestinian people.  It is ethnic cleansing - genocide.  The people of the world must react now.

The US sends Israel $3 billion each year to build the wall that puts Palestinian people into virtual prisons and for military hardware.  I'm always reading about Pentagon advisers working with the Israeli military on installing and testing various new high-tech space technology weapons systems.  The US military industrial complex makes huge profit from the Israeli program of endless war.

This same $3 billion would go a long way in dealing with the serious economic problems we have back here at home.

You can do something.  You can contact your members in Congress and express your outrage and you can call the Embassy of Israel in Washington DC at Tel: 202-364-5500

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

DETROIT WATER DEBATE INTENSIFIES



God bless Maureen Taylor, state chairwoman of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization.  We need more like her.

CREATING THE NEW COLD WAR

Ukraine's Prime-Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk 'Yats' is doing the bidding of IMF, World Bank and NATO

 
The situation in Ukraine worsens as the US-NATO installed regime in Kiev continues to mount massive and unrelenting attack on their citizens in the eastern part of the country.  After Kiev's shelling of Slavyansk for weeks the self-defense forces escaped from that city and headed toward the larger cities of Lugansk (400,000) and Donetsk (1.2 million).  Stories are numerous that as the Kiev military took control of Slavyansk they rounded up many people and shipped them out of town - to detention camps, certain death?  No one knows yet but soon enough the story will emerge.

A peace conference was held in Yalta during the past weekend and a participant reports:

One delegate from Ukraine who traveled to Crimea by train told this writer of witnessing young men removed from the train by Ukraine border authorities under suspicion they were escaping to Crimea seeking to evade Ukraine’s compulsory military service. He also spoke fearfully of the political kidnappings and disappearances that are taking place in his region of Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine.

The US State Department talking heads still deny the Kiev military attacks on civilians.  They reverse the story and blame the self-defense forces that have in fact only been trying to protect their families from the Nazi's coming to kill them. The US also denies that as many of 500,000 Ukrainians have fled to Russia as refugees. 

Many inside and outside of Russia have been surprised that Putin has not done more to protect the people in eastern Ukraine from the US-NATO directed forces.  The Vineyard of the Saker takes that topic on today:

So what is the fight really all about?
First, remember, the Ukies decide nothing.  It's Uncle Sam.  And Uncle Sam wants a new Cold War, Uncle Sam fosters wars and crises everywhere, because that is crucial to justify NATO and because it keeps the dollar going.  For Uncle Sam, a decade long war in the Donbass is perfect: make them accursed Russkies pay for Syria, get NATO closer to Russia's border, scare the crap of out the Europeans, crash the Euro in the process, and justify NATO.  What could be better?!

 

IMAGE OF AMERICA TAKES ANOTHER HIT: ROLLING SICK



Ring of Fire reports:

It’s called “rollin’ coal.” And for several years, rural rednecks in America have been modifying their diesel trucks to turn their semi-adequately managed emissions into churning black smoke. Why? Just to see who has the worst fuel efficiency, who can dump the most carbon emissions into the atmosphere, and be the most obnoxious jerk.

But “rollin’ coal” isn’t just a thing to do, they actually consider it a lifestyle, a way to conduct themselves, and a personal identity. “Your truck is not just something to get you from point A to point B,” said Robbie, a South Carolina diesel mechanic. “It’s who you are.”

From road rage to truck pulling competitions and the fuel economy-hating attitudes that underlie those things, they all appear to have something in common. The overcompensation is a way to cover up insecurity about their masculinity. It’s an old adage that goes back generations. If your masculinity is threatened, then be a huge jerk and everyone will get the picture that you’re a big, strong man not to be messed with, at least that’s how they live their life.
I guess if there is any consolation it's worth noting that those who stick their faces into the black exhaust are not long for this world....but then again at this rate neither are the rest of us.

Monday, July 07, 2014

REFUGEE


We all are running
from something
throughout our lineage
our people ran
from the wild
woolly
Mother Earth
our home

Now those who run
get locked inside
cages
even the babies
from south
of the border

NAFTA took them down
but we don't talk about that
we just turn on the brown people
and drive them away
keeps us distracted
from what Mr. Big is doing
to all of us

Some are paid to
divide and
incite chaos
quite a job
killing your own people
find it hard
to understand

It's Mr. Big's
favorite play
Modus operandi
MO
every criminal
has a routine

Some call it
the Strategy of Tension
worth noting
it's our future
create chaos
and militarize in response

Seeing the coming storm
some run from it
refugees
others stand and resist
as best they can
try to give hope
and strength to those
hiding in the shadows
refugees in their
own right

Sunday, July 06, 2014

IMPORTANT CURRENT UKRAINE ANALYSIS



Disillusionment with the actions of Ukraine's military has reached the country's parliament. The National Guard says it will search for those who refuse to lay down arms in the retaken cities - and "question them". Mark Sleboda, who's an International affairs lecturer at Moscow State University, says that locals see the army as the opposite of liberators.

SUNDAY SONG

SMASHED PRESS



RT reports:

A crowd of around 50 masked men with stones and flares has attacked and vandalized the office of Kiev's Vesti newspaper. The paper’s security guard was beaten as the mob shattered the windows and filled the building with tear gas.

Ever since the beginning of Ukrainian crisis media in the country been facing pressure to paint a “consistent” image of events. Soon after the February coup, the head of Ukraine’s National TV was abused and forced to resign over his “not patriotic enough” angle. In the meantime, all Russian TV channels were banned and many journalists prevented from entering the country – while those already inside faced kidnapping, arrest and deportation.

Three Russian journalists and one Italian were killed in Kiev’s indiscriminate shelling of eastern cities during the ongoing so-called “anti-terrorist operation.”
 
Despite the international outcry and many human rights organizations, including the OSCE and Human Right Watch, who said that Ukraine was dangerously interfering with press freedom” and if that trend continues the consequences would be too grave to even imagine.”